Are Organic Termite Treatments Safe?

If you are searching for information on “safe organic termite treatments,” you are probably looking for non-toxic termite control products and methods. These two terms do not have the same meaning. Botanical insecticides like orange oil and neem oil are plant-based and considered non-toxic. However, the plants from which these oils are derived may be grown with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which means the products are not considered organic.

On the other hand, some pest experts consider biological control measures “organic,” meaning these measures are natural control methods. Natural predators of the termite include nematodes (microscopic worms) and ants. These insects may be introduced to a yard to help control a subterranean termite colony. However, they are of little help when it comes to controlling termites that already have infested a home.

Do Non-Toxic Termite Treatments Provide Safe Termite Control?
Orange oil and neem oil have low toxicity to humans and pets. However, people exposed to these ingredients can experience allergic reactions, skin irritations or other side effects.

Boric acid has low toxicity for humans, pets, birds, fish and honeybees. People and pets that ingest boric acid may experience vomiting or symptoms of an upset stomach.

While plant-based botanicals and boric acid have low toxicity, it is difficult to apply these products in a way that will control an entire termite colony. These products are more effective on small-scale, localized infestations. Most termite experts recommend other termite control products that can be applied in limited amounts to provide effective prevention and control.

Other non-toxic methods for drywood termite control include heat treatment, extreme cold and electronic methods. These methods are effective in some termite control situations but do not offer protection against future infestations. For subterranean termites, the most effective, least toxic method of control is a bait system, which uses bait cartridges with pre-measured treatment materials.

Your pest control expert can help you sort through all available termite control methods and products to help develop a plan for effective and safe termite extermination and prevention.